Domaine Ste. Michelle Brut and Domaine Ste. Michelle Blanc de Noirs $12 (both) (Washington, USA) Try these two affordable sparklers for toasting anything. The brut is dry with a touch of apple aroma and toast. The blanc de noirs (white from red) will be slightly pink with a touch of melon. Don't be afraid of pink in a sparkler. It won't be sweet at all. Champagne is very appetizer friendly. Just stay away from anything heavy.
Columbia Crest Grand Estates Chardonnay 2007 $11 (Washinton, USA) This Chardonnay from Washington is a perennial favorite. It's rich, full of buttery pear flavors and never disappoints. Pair it with luscious seafood appetizers, mixed nuts and cheeses.
Angeline Pinot Noir 2006 $14 (California, USA) Pinot noir can be one of those grapes that at a low cost tends to be drab since the tannins are light to nonexistent. But this light-weight wine is filled with raspberry and a touch of smoke. It's a delightful wine for the price. Think light but rich (lamb and salmon) for food pairing.
Bogle Old Vine Zinfandel 2006 $11 (California) Zinfandel (preferably red) can be a great value. It's filled with deep spice and cherry flavor with the weight of tannins that soften quicker than those in a cab. It also stands up to the spices that pepper your table.
Kanu Chenin Blanc $12 (South Africa) This vibrant white is like biting into a spicy green apple. It is mouth filling and a steal at this price. Keep it on hand for sipping with hors' d ouerves and for enjoying after a heavy meal.
DaVinci Chianti -- $16 This Chianti delivers on round mouth-filling flavor and truly emulates the elegance of the grape in an affordable bottle to share with friends; as the Italians will traditionally have it!
Greg Norman Estates Shiraz Limestone Coast 2006 $15 (Australia) Thick and deliciously filled with berries, this Shiraz, like all from this hearty grape, stands up to big roasts without breaking the bank.